Gemini Revolution Grand first (and second) impressions

After a lot of deliberating and stalking all the information I could get on the Grand, I finally went for it. I was a little weary, since I had bought the LightSpeed last year and ended up returning it. I have a ganglion cyst in my wrist that returned after surgery, so I know that anything I can do to minimize stress on it is going to help lengthen my career.

So anyway.. when the Grand first arrived, I spend a few days practicing with it when I could, and would flip flop between loving it and being insanely frustrated with it. I'd get writing and then all the sudden I'd starting fumbling all over the keys, mistraning all over. After a couple of weeks, I decided it just wasn't going to work for me. I started to compare it to my 8000 and realized that part of the design of the Grand is that the vowel keys bars are extended, so the keys sit out further from the other keys. Because of that, the vowels press down further than on my 8000. I have really small hands, and extending my thumb is one of the most aggrevating things for my wrist. So I packed it all up, sent Jason an email saying it wasn't working, and planned to ship it back to him.

Jason got back to me the next day and we ended up talking on the phone about what tweaks would make it work for me. He suggested that we try raising the vowel keys up to the level of the other keys. So for the next couple days, I triple stacked the keypads on it and tried it out. It was a little awkward with that many pads, but I could tell it felt a lot better. So I sent it back, and now I've had it back and been practicing on it for a few days, just an hour or so a day, and it's PERFECT! It doesn't feel awkward or even different anymore, and my wrist feels great.

A couple other thoughts.. I LOVE the split number bar. I've always bit a bit sloppy with the number bar, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn't like it, but it's actually helping my numbers to be cleaner. The "semi metallic" color I got isn't really metallic at all. I was afraid to go with the metallic colors because I didn't want it to look like a bass boat, but if I was to do it again, I'd go metallic. The German silver that I picked does look nice though, and it's very sleek and professional looking. I was also pleasantly surprised that it came with a good quality Linksys bluetooth adapter for my laptop, so I didn't have to go buy one of those. And it can connect to eight bluetooth devices, so I can use it to add a wireless keyboard or mouse.

Bottom line, I highly recommend the Grand. The quality is great, the flexibility that they offer for customizing it awesome, and the customer service that I got from Jason even before I committed to buying it was great. I think they're the only company that I've dealt with in the steno world that responds to emails either the same day or the next day. Sometimes even within an hour or less. Thanks Jason!

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But it is SO cool that the raised keys DID help someone! Just shows the 'newest' way the Gemini is specifically tailored to one person, not a person 'adjustin' to a machine! :)
Hi there Veronica, i am wondering if you would mind answering my question. i am renting the grand for 2 weeks. i am a student currently at about 90 words a minute. i tried the lightspeed and failed miserably but i am afraid to keep banging away on my teacher's stentura 8000 because of all the aches and pains i am getting. i was wondering how long it got you to get used to the grand? i have just practiced on it for about 4 hours and my untranslate rate is very high? thanks so much, Tanya
Hi, Tanya.

I'm no expert, but you should know that those rental units get pretty beat up; that could account for some of your mis-trans.

You might give Jason a call, and ask him to help you adjust your (temporary) writer. Ideally your translations should improve!

Good luck to you ....
Tanya, when you say how long it took to get used to it, if you mean the split pods at odd angles, it took maybe 30 seconds of writing to feel no difference. Seriously. I now write with the right one completely vertical and the left one slightly angled between vertical and horizontal, mostly towards vertical.

As far as the tran rate, the keys need tweaking for your writing style. Since there is no moving parts, per se, being a used/loaner machine shouldn't make any difference with the trans rate. That's all electronic. So get with Jason and have him help you tweak it for your style. It did take me quite a while to get it right, and now I'm able to write realtime without stacking or miss-strokes, except for operator error, which we won't talk about. :-)

V.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me directly. krs6360@live.com
Jill,
I highly recommend the raised vowels. Keep in mind if you're comparing it to your stentura that the vowel bars are longer, so it wouldn't be the same as stacking a few pads on the stentura keys. Jason had suggested he could try to shorten the bars for me, but after playing with it, I thought it would probably be awkward to have them raised up if the bar was shorter (i.e. vowels closer to the other keys.) It's really perfect with the longer bars. When I'm writing, I can't even feel they're in a different spot. I've even decided to take it to the RPR next week even though I haven't gotten much time on it because it feels so great. And great post, Veronica! Here's some pics. Not the best lighting, sorry.
Attachments:
Heather, very nice pictures! The one with your dog almost looks like an ad for the machine, it is so artsy looking! Adorable dog, BTW.

Yes, I'm definitely getting a little super-excited about this. I am going to check out that classified ad. Thanks for the heads up, Veronica. :)
Lol, thanks. He wouldn't get out of the picture, so I just framed him in it. If it's not gonna save you money to get one used, definitely go through Jason. That way you can choose all the key options you want, not to mention you get to choose from all those colors! I had always wanted a double wide * and I'm so glad I went with it, I love it. You can also get the numbers as a regular bar or the split keys, and you can get the initial S and the two * as a single or split key.
Cute dog Heather. And thank you for all the kind words. Really our machine is about fitting it to you, Which I think Veronica got perfect. It no longer makes sens to try and cram every reporters into the same make of machine when we wouldn't cram you all into the same clothes.

Jason
Those keys are very cool! I love my Grand! :) I have the gold metallic and it is sharp. :) I might like my vowels like that too!
Rho
Yeah we have been experimenting with the full height vowels for a while and they seem to be a hit almost universally. I thought they would be good but I didn't want to drop another change onto people to quickly. If you want some let me know.

FYI for anyone following this post and wanting to buy a Revolution Grand. We are doing a very limited time promotion were we are offering significant discounts or if you finance with us we are offering 0% terms for 18 months. And the nice thing is we can get almost anyone financed. You can just call me for details. 303-453-0384.

Jason
Thanks! I'm away for a week in June, so maybe I can ship it if you have time then?? Will email you. :)
Cool!

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